Jesus is crowned with thorns

by Victor Hoagland, C.P.
The soldiers led him inside the palace, that is, the praetorium, and assembled the whole cohort. They clothed him in purple and, weaving a crown of thorns, placed it on him. They began to salute him with, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and kept striking him on the head with a reed and spitting on him Mark 15, 16-19

Jesus is crowned with thornsBesides Mark’s gospel, two other gospels (Matthew and John) report that Jesus was handed over to the Roman soldiers who mocked him as a king. They took him into a courtyard, probably outside their barracks, put a ragged purple cloak on him and a reed in his hand, and then pressed a crown of thorns onto his head. Kneeling before him in false homage, they ridiculed him: “Hail King of the Jews!” And in brutal sport, they spat on him and struck his head.

After this mockery, John’s gospel says that Pilate brought the pitiable figure of Jesus before the crowd and said, “Behold, the man.”

“Behold, the man.” Here was God’s Son: so disguised, so hidden, so weak, mocked as king and wearing a crown of thorns! And evil seems to have its way with him. Yet one who sees in faith sees Jesus still a king. Evil’s seeming rule endures only a little while, an “hour,” a fleeting moment in God's time. It does not master Jesus Christ, the king.

“Behold, the man.” Yes, Lord, I see you brought low, and I believe you are a king. Help me to recognize your power whenever evil seems to conquer good, whenever the good are brought low. Give me faith to believe, even when evil seems to reign, that your kingdom will come.

Come let us adore Christ our King who was crowned with thorns.
I looked for sympathy, but there was none; for comforters, and I found none.
Psalm 110, 1-5, 7
The Lord says to you, my lord:
“Take your throne at my right hand,
while I make your enemies your footstool.”

The sceptre of your sovereign might
the Lord will extend from Zion.
The Lord says: “Rule over your enemies!”

Yours is princely power from the day of your birth.
In holy splendor, before the daystar,
like the dew I begot you.

The Lord has sworn and will not waver:
“Like Melchizedek you are a priest forever.”

At your right hand is the Lord,
who crushes kings on the day of wrath,

Who drinks from the brook by the wayside
and thus holds high the head.
Reading: Hebrews 2, 8-9
At present we do not see “all things subject to him,” but we do see Jesus “crowned with glory and honor” because he suffered death, he who “for a little while” was made “lower than the angels,” that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

Loving Savior, you allowed your enemies to crown you with thorns and to treat you like a fool,
— make us patient when we suffer and forgiving when we are slighted.

Help all the faithful to see their own trials as a participation in yours,
— that they may bear witness in themselves to the salvation that comes from you.

Crowned with thorns, you bore all the sins of the human race,
— grant your merciful forgiveness to those who have departed from this life.
Our Father...

Lord our God,
for love of us, your beloved Son
accepted a crown of thorns
and stood silent in the midst of insults.
Teach us to recognize the face of Christ
in all who suffer in mind or body.
Give us strength to help them
that we may grown daily in your love.

Illustration: Duk Soon